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Carpenters' strike affects numerous local construction projects

The correctional centre and numerous smaller commercial projects are affected.
carpenters picketing
Striking carpenters picketed on May 10, 2022 outside the offices of the Construction Association of Thunder Bay on May St. N. (Leith Dunick/TBnewswatch)

THUNDER BAY — The province-wide strike by carpenters working in the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector is impacting numerous construction projects in Northwestern Ontario.

About 15,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America began a walkout Monday after rejecting the employers' contract offer.

Evan Reid, coordinator for Union Local 1669, says approximately 300 union members in the Northwest are participating in the strike.

According to Reid, construction projects disrupted by the walkout include ones at the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre and the Kenora District Jail as well as at some area mills and a large number of smaller local commercial projects.

This is the first carpenters' strike in Ontario in 34 years.

Reid said he's "hopeful and optimistic" that negotiations will resume soon.

He said the members are concerned about the impact of rampant inflation on their families.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, they kept working and have been "basically supporting industry...Now's the time...I just hope we can get talking soon and everybody can get back to work."

Reid declined to specify what the union is asking for in terms of a wage increase.

He said local members are restricting their picketing to the office of the Construction Association of Thunder Bay on May Street.

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